Flying is far and away faster than driving. For example, if you’re going to Puerto Jimenez or Golfito, you can reasonably expect to spend seven or eight hours in a vehicle. Flights take just 45 minutes.
You’ll also gain a new perspective on the terrain. From above, Costa Rica’s varied topography, extensive coastline, and small towns all fall into the same view.
There are currently two domestic airlines in Costa Rica, Sansa and Nature Air. Both fly out of Juan Santamaría International Airport. However, Sansa leaves from Base 2, located about 100 meters south of the main terminal. Nature Air uses the same terminal as international carriers do. Both airlines have small planes and inexpensive fares; one-way tickets are generally under $100.
While regularly scheduled flights travel to main points of interest and generally offer cheaper fares for solo flyers, charter flights are another important travel segment. Short travel times and flexibility are big selling points for charters. The freedom to travel when and where one chooses is a big draw for charter flights.
Weather can be a factor, but normally is not. Costa Rica has two seasons, the wet (from May through November) and the dry (December to April). “The dry season usually offers clear skies and unlimited visibilities across the country,” says Dawley. Although the Central Valley can have breezy conditions during the summer months, it very rarely affects flights. During the rainy season, travelers are advised to schedule their flights early in the day to avoid the afternoon showers.